Friday, July 02, 2010

A 2008 Houillon/Overnoy Poulsard Check In

Some good news to share on the 2008 Houillon/Overnoy Poulsard, $36, Louis/Dressner Selections. The first time I had this wine it didn't show as well as I might have hoped, and after that I read mixed reviews from fans of the estate. My issue with the first bottle was a persistent effervescence that did not work its way out of the wine even with several hours in a decanter.

But if the bottle I recently had is any indication, this can be excellent wine in 2008. I gave it plenty of time in the decanter again, but I drank a little while cooking and it was immediately better than the last bottle. There is variation here, perhaps more so than with other wines, but that's just part of the experience. There is essentially nothing done to this wine to preserve it, just some naturally occurring carbon dioxide, and that's part of why the taste is so enveloping, why the wine functions as such a clear window to the hillside soils in Arbois.

I love this wine. A good bottle is a special experience, perhaps the finest existing version of wine made from the Poulsard grape. For me, it is the seamless mingling of bright red fruit and woodsy underbrush. The sheer elegance supported by the firm structure. The incredible purity that highlights the lovely rustic elements of the wine. The energetic tingle. A true pleasure to drink.

It is a flexible wine too. I have not done so myself, but I could imagine drinking this with oysters - something about the brine and the mineral element of the wine. It is fantastic with sautéed mushrooms or mushroom soup. And it works with red meat too, although I've not tried fancy sauces or anything. This time we had it with simply prepared grass fed sirloin - salt and pepper, that's it. Also some fresh fava beans with mint, a touch of green garlic, and a little olive oil. And some roasted Japanese turnips. When drinking very complex wines, it's nice to cook simple food.

As good as it is now, I must exercise some self-control and put a bottle away, as reliable sources assure me that this wine is beautiful with age. I meant to do that with the 2007's, but it just didn't happen. Wish me luck this time.


King Krak, Oenomancer said...

I've not had this vintage, but my experiences with this winery indicate the wines need a LOT of aging.

Btw, that grass-fed sirloin looks particularly appetizing!

Anonymous said...

Great news!

Anonymous said...

I just tried a red from Tuscany that had a noticeable effervescence. I tried to decant the wine but that didn't help. I assume that the effervescence was due to a problem in production.

I have traveled in parts of Italy (Emilia-Romagna) where rosso frizzante is a popular style that is supposed to go well with the fatty cuisine. I avoid fatty cuisine so I can't appreciate this particular combination.

Mark Anisman said...

my only experience with the 2008 Houillon/Overnoy Poulsard was : wow, what a shrill wine! i could not get any enjoyment out of a wine that was so prickly. i did not understand why it was so revered. i originally bought 2, so it is good to hear that hope is alive. so far, i find the Tissot and ganevat much more to my liking.

and about aging. i swear the folks at terroir san francisco told me that all poulsard is made for early drinking. so what does aging mean?

Unknown said...

Lucky week for me had two vintages and both great IMHO

Gramercy Tavern has the 2005 $84
and a gem was unearthed at Cru's warehouse the 2000 which they are selling for $45!!!